International Festival

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Showing on:
Sat 24 June 2017
Conference from 11-6, evening performance approx 2 hrs
£10 day / £10 evening & discounts
Mercury Main House

International Festival of Women Making Theatre to Inspire Change

Tales of Winter and Spring

11am- 6pm:  readings, debate and talks

7.30pm: Dear Children Sincerely

 A day of performances and discussion, celebrating and exploring the work of women from around the world who are using theatre to inspire social and political change.

 Tales of Winter and Spring is a unique event which will bring together a global company of actors, directors, musicians, dancers, writers, choreographers and academic experts. Looking particularly at relationships between young and old, between the past, present and future, this day will be a chance to see brand new, world-class performance from Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Palestine, India, Serbia, Burundi and the UK.

The day begins at 11am with a rehearsed reading of a new play, Cold Season in Kolkata.  Written by Elizabeth Kuti in collaboration with a company of actors from India and the UK, this is an original and playful response to Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale, exploring how the legacy of the past plays out in future generations. Directed by Trilby James and starring Shelley King (Coronation Street) and Madhayama Segal (one of India’s star performers of Odissi dance).

The focus of the afternoon and evening is Project Ariadne: a network of women theatre-makers who have come together to debate, to create and to question what women can do as artists to provoke and inspire change.  We present the premiere of Dear Children Sincerely – an ongoing global project about a conversation between young and old, in which young people have interviewed elders in their society, and their words and voices have then been made into theatre. Challenging, provocative, tender and shocking, previous incarnations of Dear Children Sincerely have been seen in Kigali, Rwanda, and in Sri Lanka. This is a snapshot of our world – a collection of unheard voices; a frank and urgent message from those who have survived much, to those who will shape the future.

For this unique event at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester, we have asked the makers of Project Ariadne  to take part in a five-day residency at the University of Essex, and in collaboration with students and community actors from Essex, to create a brand-new piece for a British audience.

This is the first time Project Ariadne have come together in this way to make work for a British audience and we are certain the results will be as moving, surprising and provocative as all the other work of these extraordinary directors.

Project Ariadne are:

Hope Azeda from Rwanda

Ruwanthie de Chickera from Sri Lanka

Djiana Milosevic from Serbia

Frederique Lecomte from Burundi and DRC.

Iman Aoun from Palestine

Susannah Tresilian from the UK

Tales of Spring and Winter will provide audiences with a unique glimpse of work-in-progress, and it will also provide an afternoon of Panel discussions, Q and A, and talks. This is a one-off opportunity to hear from the artists themselves and from academics in the field, about the work of female theatre-artists; their significance, and the role they are playing across the world in creating positive change at a grass-roots level in the lives of their audiences and beyond.



Make a night of it by booking a pre-show meal at Food @ the Mercury. Simply add either a two (£13.95) or three course (£15.95) meal to your basket along with your theatre tickets.

No need to choose what you are having in advance – simply select from the delicious options available on the night.

This show has been paired with our Tulip menu. Click here to take a look!

Please note this offer applies to the evening performance only, lunch arrangements for the conference will be confirmed closer to the event.

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